Below is a summary of the 5 levels of leadership by John Maxwell along with a leadership challenge at the end of the page.  John Maxwell has written so many great books that are all available on Amazon.  He also has some great videos posted on youtube about leadership.   

  • Level 1: Position.  People follow you because they have to. We get to shape and define who we are as a leader.  This is when the team members give you the least effort.  In a level one culture if the end time is 5:00 people are mentally clocked out at 4:30.  All you have is a title.
  • Level 2: Permission.  People follow you because they want to.  Easiest way to go from level 1 to level 2 is to be liked by connecting with your people.  Get to know each other.  It is hard to be in the people business if people don’t like you.  Relationships are the foundation to build your leadership style.  Three things level 2 leaders do well: listen, observe (where and what) and learn.  In these 3 areas they have an attitude of servant leadership.  If you are going to grow as a leader you need to grow out of position based leadership.
  • Level 3: Production or Results.  This is where you help the bottom line and produce.  These people produce by example.  Greatest motivational principle is that people do what people see.  Too many leaders are travel agents vs. tour guides.  Travel agents send people where they have never been.  Tour guides walk along side their people.  Time to act as a “real model” and lead the way.  You will also start to attract productive people at this point.  We attract who we are as a leader, not who we want to be.  This is where you can get momentum.  Momentum is a great catalyst.  If you can create momentum it can become a problem solver.  A moving train can bust through a five foot concrete wall vs. a non moving train that cannot even get over a five inch block.  Many times the problem is not really the problem.  80% of all problems are gone in Level 3 simply by having the momentum to make the little problems disappear.    
  • Level 4: People Development.  The way to grow a company is to grow your people.  1. The key to developing starts with recruiting. 80% of success is who comes in the front door.  What are we looking for?  Paint a clear picture of what the ideal team member looks like.  Hire for attitude.  2. Positioning.  After the right person is in the door you need to get them in the right position to help them find their sweet spot.  Successful leaders see where other people are best.  Team members will never reach their full potential if they are out of position.  3.  Develop and train.  Step 1, I do it.  Step 2, I do it and you are with me. Step 3, you do it and I am with you.  Step 4, you do it and you do it well.  Step 5, You do it and someone is with you.  Others need to reproduce themselves.  We should focus our leadership training on people that commit to train others.  The real key to this stage is constant communication and feedback along the way.  Try to have at least 1 five minute conversation per day with one of your leaders or potential leaders.  Remember that people don’t care about what you know until they know that you care.  Do you want others to succeed?
  • Level 5: Pinnacle, Respect.  You have done it so well and so long that people have so much respect for you that they simply follow you because it is you and your process.  Very few leaders ever get here. 
  • Time for the leadership challenge.  Take the people that you lead and write their names down and then write down what level you are on with each on of them and why.  Most of the time our leadership level changes person by person.  Once written down focus on trying to reach a new leadership level with someone on your list over the next 30 days. 

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